Waiting for the clock to strike at 12:00 am, I decided to write this blog about my first Christmas experience here in Bangkok, Thailand with the superman of my life. Last night, he went to Fashion Island Mall to buy presents for his 62 pupils and for me. He called on my phone and asked me what kind of present I would like for Christmas. I answered, “There’s no need for a gift because you’re already a bunch of gift for me”. But he just laughed at me then. He still bought a gift for me.
When he went home last night, he told me to go to the toilet for a second because he didn’t want me to see his surprise unwrap gift for me. Up to know, I still have no clue what kind of gift he bought for me. He said he will buy a gift wrapper to wrap my present, but I insisted not to. He was confused and asked me why I didn’t want to. I explained that it’s not practical, I would only tear the wrapper which he bought and it’ll just a waste of money. He told me that I must not search his surprise gift inside the dresser so he thought of locking the cabinet. But, I was surprised because he didn’t do it, maybe he was just kidding me.
I believe he has trust on me that I wouldn’t attempt to search and open my gift without his permission and simply because it is not yet Christmas. I understand him. So I didn’t try to. It is also the same reason which I haven’t told him yet that I have a gift for him this Christmas. I just wish he would appreciate my gift for him because I’m sure that I would appreciate his. It is now 9:44 pm (Bangkok Time), I am getting excited to open my gift but it is not yet Christmas. He makes me excited because he said it is a surprise. So I wonder what it is – so intriguing lols.
We did not cook any food for Christmas for practical reasons: We cannot consume the food if we buy a lot like we used to in the Philippines (as part of the tradition); We would rather eat outside than cook food here because we’ll save a little money for electricity; If we are going to cook spaghetti, for example, we just ate it last Friday’s Christmas party; It is not practical to cook a lot and, give the left over food to the neighbors and friends just to say that we are celebrating Christmas. I mean, we have no close friends here in the neighborhood. They lived a little far from our place. I bet they’re also busy about their own schedule of spending Christmas with their family or nearby friends.
When, I was small, my birthday and Christmas were the happiest days of the year for me because I expected gifts from my family, relatives and friends. But as I grow older, I realized that it is not just about GIFTS or FOOD on the table. It is learning to count my blessings (material or immaterial) that are continuously coming into my life. We often forget to pray during this season and thank the Lord for all the blessings that we have or we will have in the future.
The true meaning of Christmas for me is spending time with the family with love and forgiveness. Praying together, thanking God for everything. Now that I am more than 30 years old, whenever someone asked me what comes to my mind when I hear the word Christmas, I simply would say that Christ the Lord and Savior’s birth, the holy family, Time with my family, love and forgiveness, pray and thank God for everything. Those are the things that I first thought when I hear the word “Christmas”.